A game which was dubbed as the decider for the last spot in Europe saw an encounter which was really decided in the opening nine minutes, as Sean Dyche’s men were the victors by two goals to one and move onto 52 points for the season in the process – their best ever Premier League points total.
It was a blistering start from the Clarets as they found themselves with a two-goal lead within nine minutes with Leicester extremely sluggish out of the blocks. After a bitterly disappointing defeat at the King Power at the hands of Newcastle last week, Puel’s men were looking to bounce back and get themselves within three points of their counterparts on Saturday afternoon. Yet, in spite of this, it was not the way Chris Wood and Kevin Long had seen the script.Embed from Getty Images
The opening exchanges were all Burnley’s at Turf Moor and when Wes Morgan fluffed his clearance to Ashley Barnes, he had no problem picking out Chris Wood who was played onside by Ben Chilwell. Wood’s first effort was saved well by Kasper Schmeichel but he made no mistake with the second, much to the frustration of the Dane in the Leicester goal. It was three minutes later when the Leicester backline were still sleeping as Kevin Long towered above Harry Maguire who remained rooted to the floor, to score his first ever goal for Burnley and make it two nil to the hosts.
As Burnley looked to improve on their two-goal lead, it was a frustrating first half for Leicester and with most of the action coming down the flanks for both sides, neither managed to have a clear opportunity and Burnley went in two goals to the good.
The second half did certainly not follow the same pattern as the first as Leicester’s grit and determination resulted in a very much improved second half performance from the Foxes. Puel looked towards Kelechi Iheanacho for some very much needed spirit as he replaced Shinji Okazaki at the half.Embed from Getty Images
Vardy was enjoying more success and had chances to pull one back for Leicester but it wasn’t until the seventy-second minute that Vardy managed to beat Pope in the Burnley goal. Iheanacho linked up nicely with Fousseni Diabate and drove into the Burnley half picking out Vardy who belted the ball into the roof of the net. The final fifteen minutes was all Leicester but Vardy’s 20th goal of the season was not enough to secure any points for Leicester who suffered their second 2-1 defeat in successive matches.
Burnley managed to see off Leicester’s wave of pressure and it was an expertly seen out performance from Dyche’s men. A sensational effort from Burnley which should have all but assured a seventh place finish this campaign after their fifth win in their last five outings.
Both teams now face midweek fixtures at home, with Burnley hosting out of form Chelsea and Leicester welcoming relegation candidates Southampton.Embed from Getty Images
MOTM: Nick Pope – some sublime saves from the Burnley shot stopper resulted in the Clarets and Blue taking all three points, giving his England chances a huge boost.
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Gudmundsson, Barnes (Vokes, 85) Wood (Hendrick, 75) Unused Subs: Heaton, Bardsley, Wells, Taylor, Marney.
Leicester: Schmeichel (Hamer, 86) Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Choudhury, Silva, Gray (Diabate, 64) Okazaki (Iheanacho, 45) Vardy. Unused Subs: Albrighton, Fuchs, Dragovic, Barnes.
Written by Eamon Kitching.